Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Muñoz, Anna Nordqvist, Karine Icher, Melissa Reid, Gwladys Nocera and this year’s European Solheim Cup Team Captain Annika Sorenstam are at Terramar Golf Club in Sitges, Spain, this week, for the inaugural Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open, which tees off on Thursday.
The new tournament has been organised thanks to European Solheim Cup Team Vice-Captain Marta Figueras-Dotti (pictured below with Annika) and her family connections with the Barcelona-based Estrella Damm brewery, whose motto is ‘Mediterranean.’
The full-field, 72-hole stroke play tournament will be played on the stunning par-71 Terramar Golf Club, which enjoys beautiful views across the Mediterranean Sea and is situated right on the water, just 25 minutes from Barcelona.
World No.21 Carlota Ciganda will be one of the main players to watch after earning two professional titles in 2016.
The 26-year-old two-time Solheim Cup player from Pamplona finished second at the 2014 Open de España and would be a popular home winner. She said: “It’s always nice to be here with all the Spanish people. My parents are coming tonight and lots of friends and family are coming on the weekend. It’s always nice to play here with the home crowd. It’s my first time at the course and it’s in really good shape. Alicia and Inigo, the promoters (from Deporte and Business), they always do a great job with these tournaments. I’m happy to be here and playing this week.
“I’m just going to try and have some fun out there and play my best game. I would love to win here in Spain but I’m not going to go crazy thinking about it. I have played the course and I think it’s pretty simple from tee to green. I think I am going to make lots of birdies, so I’m hoping to shoot some low scores and see what happens on the weekend.”
Although she won’t be playing, Annika (above with her husband, Mike) will be on site watching her potential team members and she said: “It’s great to be here. I haven’t been to Spain since my amateur career, so to be part of this tournament in its first year with Marta, one of my vice-captains, who is effectively the hostess, is great. This is my first LET tournament to come and scout some of the talent out here. We are getting closer to The Solheim Cup, with four months left, so I’m keeping an eye on the players and catching up. There are lots of reasons to be here and I’m really excited. It’s a beautiful place, to be here, looking over the Mediterranean Sea. It’s great for the LET to be here and we are expecting some big crowds. Hopefully we’ll stay here for many years to come.”
Nordqvist is the top ranked European at number 10 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and she is in fantastic form following her recent win at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in the USA.
The field includes two of this year’s Ladies European Tour tournament winners, with Melissa Reid, who won her sixth LET title at the Oates Vic Open in Australia in February and Klara Spilkova, who was victorious at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on Sunday.
With a large cast of potential European Solheim Cup team members, including Georgia Hall, Florentyna Parker, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Nicole Broch Larsen, who are all seeking to make their event debut at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa on August 18-20, the tournament is shaping up to be a spectacular preview to the event and Marta Figueras-Dotti, who is the official event ambassador, said: “This tournament is very special because we worked very hard to make it happen and it is linked to my family and it means a lot to me than I can support women’s golf at a national level. The best women golfers are here and it’s a great opportunity to come out and watch them play. There are a lot of activities going on, it’s going to be a lot of fun and you have the best beer in the world!
“You can sit out on the 18th hole and enjoy an Estrella Damm beer or an Estrella Damm limon and watch all the players on the practise range, because everything is really close. I know we will have a lot of activities for juniors and families as well.”